to Scale

NBBJ helped create vital connections and a sense of community for 30,000 employees by introducing design, clarity and daylight to a massive factory environment.

Boeing’s Everett factory is home to the 747, 767, 777, and 787 airplane programs. It is the largest building in the world by volume, has a footprint of 98.3 acres, and houses 30,000 employees. The factory is a bustling hub of massive tools and equipment, airplane parts, office blocks, restaurants, full-size aircrafts, and semi-trucks.

Following on the success of the Move to the Lake initiative at the 737 factory in Renton—which saw 50% productivity gains due to lean manufacturing principles and the collocation of engineers and mechanics under one roof—the challenge at Everett was to create a similar transformation through minimal intervention in a space the size of a small city.

Boeing Future Factory is the largest building in the world, by volume, at 472 million cubic feet.

Following intensive workshops with focus groups from across the four airplane programs, it became clear that the redesign needed to connect employees to the product, encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, and provide a shared and equal experience for all.

NBBJ renovated five office towers within the building to accommodate open offices for everyone, more shared work areas, exterior walkways, skylights, and large storefront-style windows that offer views to the factory floor. A new wayfinding system using bold colors and large, directional graphics helps orient people in the vast space. The renovated towers offer three times the shared space than previous office layouts, with about 150 formal and casual meeting areas available for employees.

" It’s more than an office upgrade. It streamlines the way we work by fostering a collaborative environment. ”

John Akiyama Boeing Program Manager

Breaking Down the Scale
Breaking Down the Scale
Breaking Down the Scale
Breaking Down the Scale

Awards and Publications


Society for Environmental Graphic Design, Honor Award


Aviation Week, “Boeing Does $800-Million Everett Makeover,” June 11, 2010
Boeing Frontiers, “The Future, in sight,” January 2009